Meet the Apprenticeships Team - Martin Hooper

March 4, 2019 Abigail Pears

Martin Hooper has been part of the Knowledgepool team since 2015, working across the public and private sector. As a Talent Coach, Martin supports over 50 apprentices covering qualifications including Operational Delivery, Customer Service, Business Admin and Financial Services.

What does a typical day look like for you?

There’s not so much as a typical day but most days include learner visits, face to face workshops, and remote calls with learners. I’ll often be responding to learner queries via email or phone, helping colleagues and linking and meeting deadlines for manager information. I do have a widespread caseload, travel wise, so most days involve experiencing the delights of the M5!

What do you think makes an effective learner experience?

Making sure that learners have an effective learning experience is a major part of my role. I like to meet with the learners as often as the journey allows and especially at the start of the process. Understanding of how my learners work and learn helps ensure my approach as a Talent Coach meets their needs and their employer’s.

I encourage line managers to stay in the loop of the learners’ journeys. A simple way of doing this is to invite them to every meeting I have with their staff, whether face to face or on the phone. I have also started to use Skype with some of my learners. This means they can see what I am referring to when speaking as many respond best to visual instructions rather than verbal.

What are some of the positive impacts you’ve seen from apprenticeships?

Most of the learners I support have been more engaged employees, both during and after their programme. They are benefiting from learning delivered to them and provided by their employer and are given time to study, and this is increasing the opportunities to further their career.

They also gain confidence to progress.  During my time with Knowledgepool I’ve seen learners receive promotions within their business, with several progressing into senior and management roles. I’ve helped learners to prepare for interviews within their organisation and they’ve fed back on how useful what they’ve completed on the apprenticeship has been – giving them examples and specifics to explain to interviewers.

Why choose apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships provide learners with some great opportunities both within and outside their organisation. They really demonstrate the commitment to a programme of learning, the ability to meet deadlines and allow learners to further develop key skills such as improved writing and maths.

Apprenticeships also allow for widening of knowledge, which could be specific to the role or business they’re in, such as financial services, and expanding on behaviours and skills can help a learner understand how they can best use them. This awareness really helps in interviews or performance reviews with line managers. I like to tell my learners it’s not about what you haven’t done, tell me what you have done.

“I am the single point of contact for apprenticeships within PINS (The Planning Inspectorate). I have had the pleasure of working alongside Martin for the past 6 months. Martin has always been knowledgeable and answers any questions I have in relation to my apprentices or the apprenticeship itself. We have a great working relationship and I know I can rely on him to help my apprentices achieve their pass marks and broaden their working skills and horizons.

PINS values having apprentices, the new lease of life and eagerness to learn they bring helps to raise morale within the organisation. Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for organisations to develop young talent and train specialist skills and knowledge. Here at PINS we like to give those a chance who may not usually have one and therefore require zero qualifications to become an apprentice.”

Sara Bennett, The Planning Inspectorate

“I completed the apprenticeship programme last year and gained my Cert RBCB and certificate in providing financial services. Throughout the 18-month apprenticeship my Martin was fantastic from start to finish. When I started the apprenticeship, I was a CSO in the Coleraine branch in Northern Ireland before progressing to Universal Banker and I have been selected to join the new Premises Advice Team in Network Optimisation covering the North and Central Regions.  

Without Martin’s help I wouldn’t be where I am now.  His guidance in banking and interview skills were invaluable. I would recommend anyone who wants to further their career and gain essential knowledge to sign up, and if Martin is your Talent Coach you will be in very safe hands.”

Niall McDonagh, Financial Services Apprentice

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